Pause

Will you love the “you” you hide if I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same?
Will you use the faith you’ve found to reshape the world around,
Through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me?

from “The Summons,” John Bell, 1987

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Listen

Lord God of heavenly forces, how long will you fume against your people’s prayer? You’ve fed them bread made of tears; you’ve given them tears to drink three times over! You’ve put us at odds with our neighbors; our enemies make fun of us. Restore us, God of heavenly forces! Make your face shine so that we can be saved!

Psalm 80:4-7

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Think

The psalmist who penned Psalm 80 cries out to God for God not to remain seemingly absent. God is asked to come, rescue, and restore. In the midst of all the glitz and excitement of the holiday season, we would all do well to pause and remember those places around us and in the world where people seem to be calling out with the same prayer. Syria, the civil war in Sudan, human trafficking all around us (the list could go on) all call out to us and God for rescue.

“Joy to the world! The Lord is come.” A very familiar hymn during the Christmas season. Yet, at times this carol seems almost too big to believe. There are truly places where joy and love seem absent.

As we sing and celebrate the love of Jesus during this season, may we also take a moment to pray about taking responsibility to respond in order for God to be able to intervene and restore us and those around the world. Not the easiest of tasks, but one the holiday season and the Jesus we serve beckons us to do.

Dale Tadlock

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Pray

God of love, help me to stop and acknowledge those places in the world where this holiday season may be anything but loving and joyful. Give me the courage to take bold steps so that one day Earth may be like it is in heaven. Amen.

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Go

Lord, your summons echoes true when you but call my name.
Let me turn and follow you and never be the same.
In your company I’ll go where your love and footsteps show.
Thus I’ll move and live and grow in you and you in me.

from “The Summons,” John Bell, 1987

Dale Tadlock

Dale Tadlock is a veteran youth minister who now serves as a Coordinator at Passport Camps. A Mississippi native, Dale now resides in Birmingham, AL, with his wife and two teenage daughters.

Advent Waiting: Wexford Carol - O Come LIttle Children

David Burroughs

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